Volume 585 Issue 7825, 17 September 2020

Viking voyagers

The cover shows the Sea Stallion, the world’s largest Viking ship reconstruction. The maritime expansion of Scandinavian populations during the Viking Age (around AD 750–1050) altered the political, cultural and demographic map of Europe. In this week’s issue, Eske Willerslev and his colleagues explore the genomic history of this period. The researchers sequenced the genomes of 442 people from across Europe and Greenland, covering the Bronze Age (around 2400 BC) to the Early Modern period (around AD 1600). They found substantial gene flow into Scandinavia from the south and east. They also identified distinct Viking movements around the continent: Danish Vikings headed for England, Swedish Vikings went east to the Baltics, and Norwegian Vikings travelled to Ireland, Iceland and Greenland, while newcomers were also entering Scandinavia from the west. Sequencing the genomes of 34 individuals from a Viking burial site in Salme, Estonia, the team identified four brothers who had been buried side by side. Close kin of this family group were also found hundreds of kilometres away, illustrating the mobility that characterized the Viking Age.

Cover image: Werner Karrasch/Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde

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Amendments & Corrections

  • Author Correction |

    • M. Aaron MacNeil
    • , Demian D. Chapman
    • , Michelle Heupel
    • , Colin A. Simpfendorfer
    • , Michael Heithaus
    • , Mark Meekan
    • , Euan Harvey
    • , Jordan Goetze
    • , Jeremy Kiszka
    • , Mark E. Bond
    • , Leanne M. Currey-Randall
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    • , C. Samantha Sherman
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    • , Vinay Udyawer
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    • , Jasmine Valentin-Albanese
    • , Taylor Gorham
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    • , Océane Beaufort
    • , Cecilie Benjamin
    • , Anthony T. F. Bernard
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    • , Stacy Bierwagen
    • , Erika Bonnema
    • , Rosalind M. K. Bown
    • , Darcy Bradley
    • , Edd Brooks
    • , J. Jed Brown
    • , Dayne Buddo
    • , Patrick Burke
    • , Camila Cáceres
    • , Diego Cardeñosa
    • , Jeffrey C. Carrier
    • , Jennifer E. Caselle
    • , Venkatesh Charloo
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    • , Eric Clua
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